Worf Reviews – Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

B v S

 

Hello Gents, Worf here.  For those that do not know me, I`m a long time follower of the blog and ocasional contestant.  Today I'm going to give you my 2 cents (it is kinda long so maybe it's more like my 2 dollars) on Batman v Superman. The first part will be spoiler free (Well assuming you've seen a trailer or two and have not been living under a rock for the past year) and I'll let you know when to stop reading if you don't want spoilers.

Let's begin with the questions that were on everyone's mind: Batfleck and Gal Gadot's WW. I will say that I was very close to first in line to diss these casting options, however....

Ben Afleck is actually very convincing in both roles.  His Bruce Wayne is a charismatic and believable.  He channels a bit the idea that Bruce is a facade and Batman is the true persona.  Very interesting take and I dare say, it was better than Christian Bale's Wayne.  As Batman he is just friking awesome. The fight scenes are just badass.  If you like your Batman with an attitude this is the one for you.

Gadot does a very competent job also.  I, personally, still think Wonder Woman could have a better person physically, but she is convincing in her roles.  Her speaking role is pretty much as Diana Prince, and she totally kicks ass as WW.  I'm actually anxious in anticipation of her movie next year.

Now for the rest of the cast:

If you didn't like the casting/acting in 2013's Man of Steel, You won't like them here either.  Henry Cavill (Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) all reprise their roles from that film with the same level of believability. Personally I like that movie and in this one I particularly like Cavill's interpretation when he struggles with who the world wants him to be.

Closing out the main cast we have Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.  The trailers don't give you much insight into the character, and he is a little scrawny, specially if, like me, you read a lot of post-crisis DC where Luthor was always a big guy.  Eisenberg's Luthor delivers big on his intellect and is as scheming as they come and contrary to every movie version of Luthor before, he is not comical, which is a good thing. It would have really felt out of place in this movie.

The plot is believable, I don`t remember anything just coming ou of the blue, as it where.  Things have a reason to be, but at the same time it doesn't treat you like a 5 year old that has to have everything spelled out for them. It is complex with a layer of subtlety.  Obviously it contais many references to the comics and borrows a fair amount from many stories but it never feels like a patchwork.  You DO have to have Man of Steel in mind as this is a direct sequel to it and parts of the story stem from it.

That being said, I hope I've convinced you to go see it for yourself without giving details or sound too much like a gushing fanboy.  Now for the meaty part.

****** ATTENTION ******
****** SPOILERS AHEAD *****

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*** DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE *****
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***** YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED *****
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If you're here you either don't care about spoilers or have seen the movie, either way let's start.

Plot-wise I love that Luthor is the main driver here.  He is a megalomaniac , manipulative, intelligent, greedy, no-holds-bared bastard, and it suits him.  He understands that he can't go toe-to-toe with Superman so devises a brilliant indirect attack on his image and credibility.  He makes Superman appear to be a bully, a buffoon and an inattentive idiot. I mean, we all expect Superman to rush in and save Lois whenever, but to make him look like an international bully who kills without consideration is brilliant. To then make him look like an ignorant buffoon for not being attentive and seeing the bomb in the Senate is a stroke of genius.  And all the while playing the long game with Bruce Wayne to push his buttons and get him riled up against Superman?  Impressive. And again, subverting the trope calling Superman to him by pushing Lois off of a building? Major props. This is a mad genius that knows what he wants. The only thing he didn't count on was "Martha".

Which leads us to the awesomest bat fight scene in movie history.  As much as I like the ones in the previous bat-trilogy, this one gives us a believable live-action Batman who has just walked right out of the pages of the comic books.  He moves like you'd imagine him from reading said comics. AND he kicks ass. Also, we finally get a bat-plane that is great AND doesn't get shod down by 1 frikin bullet.

Wonder Woman is very much at the fringe for most of the movie, and that is good. She wants her anonymity back and unintentionally brushes with Bruce.  We see her waver for a second as her desire to go home and her heroism clash in the airplane, but when she decides to go, she is all in. Her portion of the fight is intense and furious and she shows her warrior side, even giving a little smile when she sees she can let loose against Doomsday.  Both Batman and Superman fight out of necessity, Wonder Woman, as a born warrior, likes a good challenge.

Now, speaking of comics there are many, many comic book plots referenced in the movie. Let's run (at least a few of) them down shall we?

Frank Miller's Dark Knight is the first we have to talk about.  From it we have the older Wayne that has semi-retired, the Martha Wayne's pearls scene, the dead Robin suit, the almost indestructible batmobile (only someone not from this world can disable it), the whole scene where we first see Batman in action (with the two police officers entering the house), the nuclear bomb leaving a skeletal superman and the obvious fight between them.  A fight that gives us the Batman who is a strategist (pretty much absent from all films up to now), he leads the fight where he wants it to go, and while surprised in a couple of places, never seems unprepared.

"The Death of Superman" is the second main reference. Finishing the movie the way they did both surprised me (I NEVER thought they would do "Death" in a movie) and made me respect them more for going there.  For me it also felt "right" for Superman who, after a slight moment of consideration, stoically sacrifices himself to save everyone.  It felt true and that is good in any story where this amount of disbelief is necessary (we are talking about immortal women and demi-gods who can fly and shoot megawatt lasers out of their eyes after all).  Zod/Doomsday's creation borrows from the origins of Superboy (a clone from a mix of Superman and Luthor's DNA).  Doomsday seem to retain some of Zod's memory and knows Superman is his antagonist. That that is the guy who destroyed his purpose/dream of a new Krypton.  The fight (for me) felt very grounded, very "real" for the characters.

Two references that I also have to mention are the Flash appearance from the future in an unmistakable reference to "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and the Batman's future dream that makes a somewhat veiled reference to "Injustice" (or some of the other alternate story lines where Superman watched Lois die) where Superman becomes a sort of dictator and Batman becomes a freedom fighter (his desert clothes also kinda remind me of "Red Son").  We also get a future character reference in that dream sequence.  First the huge omega sign in the desert and later the parademons that attack, both references to Darkseid, who is, at the moment, believed to be the villain for the Justice League movies.

Lastly, I'd like to touch on a couple of easter eggs:
- I liked the way they put Cyborg and Aquaman in the movie.  It didn't feel out of place and sets up the audience for the upcoming movies.
- The device that Cyborg's father activates that fuses with him appears to be a motherbox, another New Gods/Darkseid reference.
- In Bruce's dream sequence where he visits his mother's grave, the creature that pops out is Man-Bat.

- The Russian that gets blown up is named Anatoly Knyazev who is none other than the KGBeast.
- Luthor's prision number is TK-421. It is the designation of the storm trooper who gets knocked out and has his uniform stolen by Han solo in "A New hope"
- The photographer/CIA agent who dies in the desert? Jimmy Olsen.
- Perry white mentions 1938 to Clark, a reference to the creation date of Superman.
- During the funeral, just before the music rises and drowns it out, we can hear a thump, thump, very much like a heartbeat, a reverse reference to The Dark Knight where it is Superman that hears Batman's heart.
- Injustice appears to be referenced again in that the Flash who comes back in time is wearing armor.

Well, that's it for me. Hope ir reads coherent enough and not too much rambling.

Cheers, (or Qapla')

Worf

Kaldath

About Kaldath

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5 Responses to Worf Reviews – Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

  1. NOTE: The HighDemon corporation urges you to scroll down past this comment if you have not seen Batman V.S. Superman, unless you don’t want to (like me).

    What, Supes is dead? DCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Great review Worf. Affleck was fantastic – and no one is more surprised to hear me say that than me. I had written him off months ago, but I stand happily corrected. This was the Batman I had been hoping for…older, cynical, and driven. Gadot’s Wonder Woman was the perfect introduction to the character.. Hoping for more Worf reviews in the future.

  3. @drinkfluid: I warned about reading below the line… However, if you haven’t yet GO SEE THE MOVIE!!!!!

    @djuby: I got my eye on a few more this year…. Captain America, Suicide Squad (very skeptical about Jared Leto), Dr. Strange….

  4. I didn’t like it.

    I found it pompous, too self-absorbed and grandiloquant.
    I also hate that snyder took out so much color that even in the middle of africa under a bright sun, everything looks grey and dull.

    Affleck did good by the role, he was intense, and I agree that the whole “bruce wayne is the charade” was well handled. However, he was so unlikeable and stupid that he made Snyder’s superman almost seem reasonable by comparison. This is a batman that’s too much on the edge, too bloodthirsty. To be blunt, it’s not batman, it’s the midnighter. I like the midnighter, but I don’t want batman to be him.

    By about 1h30, I was becoming really, really, bored.

    The only really good bit, IMO, was Wonder Woman. I was pleasantly surprised, and wished the fight scene wasn’t so confused at times, for she kicked ass.

  5. Have to say, I’m with Arioch. This movie was a real disappointment.

    Good things:

    – Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot had a very regal presence in her delivery of this role and she was super badass. Bonus cool points for the Wonder Woman Theme composed by Hans Zimmer. When she showed up it was as if to say “Here I am to rescue this awful movie!”
    – Ben Affleck’s Batman! Wow. What a nice surprise. Despite the glaring characterization flaws due to the flawed script/storyline, he made a great Batman. A real detective/strategist, and I could watch that warehouse fight scene for hours.
    – Jason Momoa’s broody Aquaman stare (more character development in those fifteen seconds than anybody else in the damn movie)

    The bad:

    – Superman being so blasé about human life in general. Obliterating that African warlord with a super-speed strike (no way that guy’s not dead), or reacting to a room full of people being blown up right in front of him with an utterly bored expression.
    – Batman being a MURDERER. Literally cars full of people dead for no reason. Gatling gunning a bunch of mercenaries with his jet. I don’t care if this is a “dark brooding violent Batman who’s lost his way because of the death of Robin boo hoo”. Batman willfully killing people is just antithetical to his character. Period.
    – The whole “MARTHA?! WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?!?!” scene. Props to the film-makers for making me realize Ma Kent and Mrs. Wayne had the same name (like whaaaaat?!) after all these years, but dear lord what a hamfisted and awkwardly acted scene.
    – Lois Lane chucking one of the only things that can kill Superman into an empty stairwell. “NOBODY WILL FIND IT HERE. (HEAVE).”
    – The convoluted and just messy and unorganized storyline. You’re just going to toss out Lex Luthor knowing Supes secret ID with a throwaway line? A human can commandeer Kryptonian bio-tech with dead fingerpads and a stern tone of voice? Batman kills dozens of people to get to the kryptonite when he could’ve just STOLEN IT FROM LEXCORP IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?
    – Pretending that Superman’s death is anything more than a cheap tug at the heartstrings when we know there are a planned number of sequels coming our way already.